1. How could Mattel have allowed these problems to happen? Aside from simply not using Chinese suppliers, could Mattel have avoided the toy quality/safety problems to begin with? Explain your answers.
2. Were Mattel’s responses to the toy recalls appropriate? Why or why not?
3. As supply chain trading partners, what responsibilities do Mattel and Early Light have towards one another? Should Mattel continue to use Early Light as a supplier-partner? Why or why not? How should this impact the methods used by Mattel to select foreign suppliers?
4. Read Mattel’s Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP) shown in Table 3. Should anything else be added to the GMP? Comment on the Chinese manufacturing company audits performed by the International Center for Corporate Accountability (ICCA), which uses Mattel’s GMP as the basis for its audits.
5. Discuss the ethical, legal and reputation issues associated with the recalls. How might these issues impact Mattel’s global supply chain management strategies going forward?
6. What are the supply chain risk issues for Mattel when using suppliers in a distantly located and developing economy such as China? How can these risks be mitigated?
7. Put yourself in the shoes of the CEO of Mattel in 2008. What should you do in 2008, regarding the issues surrounding the recalls?
8. Supplemental question: Go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website (www.cpsc.gov) and note any toy recalls other than the ones described in this case. Are any Chinese suppliers involved? Go to the Mattel website (www.mattel.com), click on “Customer Service” then “Recall Information” and note any current information regarding toy recalls; then return to Mattel’s homepage, click on “Investors & Media” then “Governance” and finally “Corporate Responsibility” to note any new descriptions of strategies for dealing lead paint and loose magnets, other than those described in...